Safe Travels with your Dog
Your dog may greatly enjoy the occasional car ride, but it’s important to take the necessary safety precautions whenever you travel with your best friend. We’ve identified a few of the most important safety tips to be aware of whenever you travel with your dog.
Safe and Secure
The best place for your dog in a car is safely secured in a well-ventilated pet carrier. There are wire-mesh and hard plastic sided carriers available for most sizes, but the carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around in. For large breed dogs you can also utilize a dog harness that attaches to a car seat belt.
If your pet is new to traveling in a carrier, help them get used to the new environment by letting them explore it a bit for a couple weeks before your trip. This will help them remain calm in the carrier and not feel like they are being punished or trapped.
Although you may be tempted to let your dog roam free, this can be very dangerous if you are in an accident or have to stop suddenly.
Watch the Weather
It is never okay to leave your dog alone in a parked car. Even on a slightly sunny day your car can heat up drastically in a very short amount of time, dehydrating your dog and increasing the risk of heatstroke. Conversely, in the winter your car will trap in the cold temperatures making your dog susceptible to hypothermia.
Food and Water
If you’re planning a particularly long drive, you should feed your pet a light meal before you leave to keep them satisfied during the drive. For water, consider bringing bottled water or your own in plastic jugs. Your dog is used to the water they drink and a different type could upset their stomach.
It’s also recommended you stop to feed and water your pet. While this is good for their own digestion and stomach, it also ensures they won’t spill everything and make a mess in your car!
If you’re traveling across state lines, you may be required to show proof of your dog’s vaccination records. While this is not required in every state, it’s a good idea to pack a copy just in case.
By having your dog micro-chipped
Having your dog micro-chipped is also a good safety practice. In the event your dog is lost, the microchip allows for tracking and identification. You should also make sure your dogs’ collar includes information on your travel destination including the address and phone number of where you’re staying.
Pack a Bag for your Dog
In addition to the above tips, remember to pack the necessary items for your dogs’ trip. A helpful checklist of items includes:
- Food and water
- A waste scoop and plastic bags
- Vaccination papers
- Any required medication
- First-aid kit
- Favorite toys and treats
Following these helpful tips will ensure your pet has a safe and enjoyable trip.